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Topological and quantum critical properties of the interacting Majorana chain model

Natalia Chepiga, Nicolas Laflorencie

SciPost Phys. 14, 152 (2023) · published 13 June 2023


We study Majorana chain with the shortest possible interaction term and in the presence of hopping alternation. When formulated in terms of spins the model corresponds to the transverse field Ising model with nearest-neighbor transverse and next-nearest-neighbor longitudinal repulsion. The phase diagram obtained with extensive DMRG simulations is very rich and contains six phases. Four gapped phases include paramagnetic, period-2 with broken translation symmetry, $\mathbb{Z}_2$ with broken parity symmetry and the period-2-$\mathbb{Z}_2$ phase with both symmetries broken. In addition there are two floating phases: gapless and critical Luttinger liquid with incommensurate correlations, and with an additional spontaneously broken $\mathbb{Z}_2$ symmetry in one of them. By analyzing an extended phase diagram we demonstrate that, in contrast with a common belief, the Luttinger liquid phase along the self-dual critical line terminates at a weaker interaction strength than the end point of the Ising critical line that we find to be in the tri-critical Ising universality class. We also show that none of these two points is a Lifshitz point terminating the incommensurability. In addition, we analyzed topological properties through Majorana zero modes emergent in the two topological phases, with and without incommensurability. In the weak interaction regime, a self-consistent mean-field treatment provides a remarkable accuracy for the description of the spectral pairing and the parity switches induced by the interaction.

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